When I’m not configuring databases at my day job, or writing/drawing about it on this blog, then I’m trying to excel at other basic human pursuits. There are the big ones, like eating healthy and staying fit, but I’m talking about the small, less interesting stuff – tiny projects and tasks that when tackled, make your personal life feel just a little more organized.
Like the cable drawer.
Yes, I’m talking about that tangle of cords that you can’t remember getting started, but has been a slow-growing staple in your home for the past few years. The drawer you hate having to go into to find something, because it’s a complete mess (and half the time, you’re not even sure what you’re looking for anyway!).
I’m convinced that is a natural consequence of adulthood. Maybe the accumulation starts when you’re young (especially with all the technology things that kids use these days), and as you get older, it just grows more out of control.
I normally would’ve let this drawer be except that I brought my old filing cabinet home from work this week. That meant a chance to reorganize and reclaim the space in my nightstand. The drawer’s time had finally come.
Two hours later + a little inspiration from mom, and the drawer now looks like this:
And I am over the moon.
It seems like a small thing, but little improvements add up to big things. Whether you’re organizing a cable drawer, a toolbox, a crafting station or whatever else, here’s a quick and budget-friendly way to get started!
- Small sandwich bags (you can get them anywhere that they’re sold – grocery store, pharmacy, chains like Family Dollar or Dollar Tree).
- Medium-sized freezer bags
- Scotch tape
- A Marker
- Post-its or pieces of paper
- Cable ties are a plus (Didn’t have these, but they would’ve come in handy!)
1. Start by separating your stuff into two piles – keep, and toss. If you don’t know what a cord is, keep it in case – we’ll make sure to label those later on. If you know a cord belongs to something you no longer own, let it go (but don’t throw it in your normal trash. These should get recycled)!
2. Cut your post its/paper into small strips, and begin writing the labels for your bags. If you have multiple of the same item, plan to put a few together in a single bag (unless they tangle easily).
*Tip*: for those cords that you don’t know what they are, write “unknown” or something similar. Use a different color as well, so that those bags can stand out more when the time comes to actually figure it out!
3. Pull a few pieces of scotch tape that are slightly longer than your label. Tape those pieces on the back of your label, so that the back of the label is covered with the tape.
4. Grab your storage bag and stick your label on the inside of the bag, on the forward-facing side. Attaching your labels this way makes it less likely that they’ll fall off or get damaged from the contents inside of your bag.
5. Add your item/s, seal it up and repeat. Don’t forget to use those cable ties if you have them!
6. Keep a stash of bags nearby, for quick labeling/adding later on.
At some point, it may make sense to upgrade to a more advanced organizing system. For an immediate fix though, this will do it. One step closer to an organized home life!